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FIFA is set to impose a three-and-a-half-week break ahead of the next World Cup finals in 2006 as it addresses the issue of “player burnout.”

FIFA is set to impose a three-and-a-half-week break ahead of the next World Cup finals in 2006 as it addresses the issue of “player burnout.”

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he was determined to combat the problem of players retiring early from international football as well as the issue of fatigue which many players have cited in recent years.

“There has been a lot of talk about players being too tired and referees lacking consistency at recent major tournaments and on the whole I would agree with that talk,” Blatter said.

National associations will have to end their domestic league and cup schedules by May 14 2006, leaving an eight-day gap before players join their national sides for 17 days, leading up to the start of the World Cup in Germany on June 9.

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